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Why Tehran matters so much in Iranian politics

While the final nationwide results of Iran’s Feb. 26 elections have yet to be announced, it is clear that the elections have produced a stunning victory for the Reformist-moderate List of Hope alliance in Tehran. But why do electoral gains in the relatively small Tehran constituency mean so much?
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Three days after key parliamentary and Assembly of Experts elections, vote counting is still ongoing in Iran. Final nationwide results are expected to be announced Feb. 29 for the assembly, and on March 1 for parliament. What is clear so far, however, is that in Tehran province — the largest and politically most sensitive constituency — the elections have produced a stunning victory for the Reformist-moderate List of Hope alliance. According to the Interior Ministry, this pro-government coalition has won all 30 parliamentary seats up for grabs in the Tehran constituency. Meanwhile, all but one of the 16 Tehran seats in the 88-member Assembly of Experts will be in the hands of this alliance of Reformists, moderates and government-leaning Principlists.

Tehran is the epicenter of Iranian politics. It is the main theater for the power struggles between competing factions and state institutions, as it is home to virtually all major state bodies. Thus, the outcomes of these dynamics shape the broader political climate in the Islamic Republic. Against this backdrop, the electoral victory of the Reformist-moderate coalition in Tehran is significant and also carries high political symbolism.

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